Helpful ideas for proving the impact of scrutiny

Scrutineers learning about each other’s good practice

At the recent Centre of Public Scrutiny Conference; Strategies for Success (#scrutinysuccess) I ran a workshop on proving the impact of scrutiny. Across two sessions participants spent time thinking about what they already do well. Below is a list of some of the things they came up with.

I also gave a brief presentation on useful frameworks for demonstrating scrutiny impact and you can find those frameworks here.

Anyhow, thanks to everyone who took part and made the sessions so enjoyable. Hopefully the ideas they came up with with be helpful for any scrutineers thinking about how they demonstrate impact.

Some of the things people are doing:

  • Producing an annual report
  • Having agendas that are focussed on outcomes
  • Press releases
  • Articles in the council magazine
  • Webcasting meetings so the public can see what scrutiny is doing
  • Involving all councillors in scrutiny work so they are able to share impact
  • Chairs of scrutiny using internal comms to share messages
  • Holding workshops to involve staff and share impact
  • Highlighting recommendations and intended outcomes on the work programme
  • Chairs speak at council meetings about what scrutiny has achieved
  • Impact and outcomes highlighted specifically in scrutiny reports
  • Outreach and focus groups to talk to the public (with tea and biscuits)
  • Training for staff about scrutiny so they know how it makes a difference
  • Site visits — to be visible to the public
  • Public Q&A sessions
  • Using social media to share impact
  • Following up recommendations to understand what difference has been made
  • Involving the public in work planning events — so we align to public concerns
  • Working with co-optees — they can share impact
  • Communications strategy for scrutiny
  • Getting feedback from people that they have responded to scrutiny
  • Showing scrutiny responds to public concerns i.e. from residents groups
  • Sharing the number / impact of call-ins
  • Allowing public questions and social media at meetings to let people see what scrutiny is doing
  • Analysis of task and finish work to show what difference it has made
  • Inviting media to meetings
  • Using a recommendations tracker
  • Capturing media reports about scrutiny work
  • Having conversations with partners about the difference scrutiny has made
  • Public consultation on what scrutiny has done / should be doing